As autumn takes hold of the Korean peninsula, the dropping temperatures also herald a change in the color of the native foliage, transforming the terrain into a spectacular rainbow of autumn colors which visitors come from all over the globe to catch a glimpse of. If you’re lucky enough to be in Korea over the autumn months, take a look at our top three spots to enjoy the very best of the season’s foliage.
1. Tranquility & Adventure at Everland
Situated in the province of Gyeonggi-do, Everland Theme Park is nestled in the rolling hills of the Korean countryside and provides dazzling views of the full spectrum of fall colors. Everland boasts over 10 kinds of trees known for their vivid fall makeovers, including the gingko tree, the maple tree and the zelkova.
This year, Everland offers three different kinds of experiences so that visitors can enjoy both the foliage and the full range of Everland attractions on display – whatever their pace. Those who enjoy restorative walks can peruse the Secret Trail, which allows visitors to get up and close with a beautiful selection of flora as well as providing a panoramic view of Everland’s major attractions, including Thunder Falls, the Rolling X Train and Aesop Village.
Similarly, the Gingko Tree Trail, situated just beside Everland’s famed Rose Garden, provides a view of one of the most iconic fall flora – the gingko tree. This path takes visitors past the beautiful Rose Castle and ends in the Rose Gift Store – the perfect spot to pick up a memento.
Another relaxing fall foliage course is located in the Four Seasons Garden, where a Cottage Garden and a Kitchen Garden offers visitors the perfect way to take in the exhilarating, calming autumn colors in style. The design of the course is reminiscent of a picturesque, rustic English country garden.
After perusing the autumn colors, visitors can even take some refreshment in the true British style, as Everland is offering an afternoon tea program on weekdays at the Rose Castle. The Four Seasons Garden is open until October 28th, with afternoon tea offered until November 19th.
The second type of experience on offer at Everland this fall is for those fall foliage fans who also enjoy the thrill of adrenaline. If you are looking for a stirring autumnal spectacle, where else is better to take in the lush fall colors than from the T Express or Thunder Falls rides, both of which are situated right in the heart of the autumn foliage.
Thirdly, for those looking just for a refreshing look at the local foliage wearing its autumn best, the natural beauty of Everland’s surroundings provide this and more. The drive into Everland from the Maesong toll gate provides a spectacular ‘360’ view of the autumn leaves, as the road lined with impressive, looming trees winds around a mountainside. Foliage enthusiasts should also be sure not to miss out on the beautiful sights at the Hoam Lake nearby Everland, where the trees lining the mountain above it are reflected in the lake’s surface to spectacular effect.
For more information on Everland and its fall attractions, click here.
2. Ancient Splendor at Changdeokgung Palace
Changdeokgung Palace is the second oldest of the five Grand Palaces in Seoul, revered for being the most well-preserved. For visitors looking to rest and relax just as the Kings of the Joseon Dynasty did, Changdeokgung Palace is the perfect spot to take in the historical sights as well as the vibrant fall foliage on display during autumn months.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site due to the stunning buildings that make up the Palace complex, this incredible balance of architecture and nature truly comes into its own in fall, when the vibrant leaves of the maple tree animate the Palace gardens.
Changdeokgung Palace’s unique offering is its rear ‘Secret Garden’ behind the main palace complex which is accessible only by guided tour and features a wealth of picturesque pavilions and ponds that are framed beautifully by the foliage during fall. A guided walk through this historic place of relaxation will suit any tourist as interested in culture as they are in the indigenous fall colors of Korea.
The autumn/winter opening hours for Changdeokgung Palace, as well Secret Garden tour information, can be found here. More information on the Royal Palaces of Seoul can be found here.
3. Harmonious Hues at Bulguksa Temple
Just to the East of Korea’s ancient capital Gyeongju, nicknamed the ‘city of walls’ for the wealth of preserved historic buildings it possesses, lies Bulguksa Temple. Known for the artistry of its stonework, there is no better time of year to explore this beautiful relic of the Silla Kingdom – and no better place to find tranquility than in the fall foliage at Bulguksa.
Bulguksa remains virtually empty of visitors of tourists in the mornings, and so this is the best time to visit for a quiet walk around the hallowed grounds of the temple complex and take in the vivid red foliage.
If you are looking for a foliage experience devoid of busy crowds and disruptions and full instead of spiritual calm, Bulguksa is the perfect spot – you can even participate in an overnight temple stay program, where you can take part in traditional tea ceremonies and other activities with the local monks.
For more information on admission hours and fees, click here, and for information on the Temple Stay program, follow this link.